Responses to Peer review

Writing Tips >> Responses to Peer review

How to respond to peer review

It is difficult to generalize the response to peer reviews.


Accept with minor modifications

There are rarely any problems in responding to these types of reviews and they usually involves very minor modifications such as spelling, grammar and typos.


Accept with major modifications

These reviews will need careful responses because the work in principle is worth publication but the reviewers are not fully convinced. Typical words used are;

  1. Need to be discussed
  2. Need to be explained
  3. Explanation needs detail.
  4. Not convincing

This usually implies that the work has not been explained clearly and a clearer explanation is required. Ideally if you can get a second person to read through the work you can get an opinion from another angle to help you explain the work more clearly. It could also be that the work has not been clearly differentiated form previously published work which is why more discussion or explanation is required.

Other typical words used are:

  1. Novelty
  2. Contribution

These words usually imply that the innovative work is either not new or is new but not enough. This can be subjective and it may just be that you have not communicated your ideas well enough. If you believe that the work done is worthy of publication, then it could be that you have not differentiated clearly what is new and its significance or impact.



A reject could be that your work was considered just not worthy of publication in that journal. The work you produced may be more appropriately submitted to another journal. A good test is whether you referenced your work from this journal or mainly from another journal.

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